In another signature “Uncarrier” move, T-Mobile US introduced “T-Mobile Test Drive” as a new way to buy wireless. With this program, people can receive an iPhone 5s and unlimited nationwide service to take T-Mobile’s network for a data-intensive, seven-day spin at no cost whatsoever. The new initiative puts T-Mobile’s network in the spotlight.
This latest initiative takes aim at. what the company (and CEO and President John Legere with many more expletives) calls, “the painful process of buying wireless in America today.” People must decide on a wireless provider without knowing how the network will really work for them.
As a result, the U.S. wireless industry has one of the highest “remorse rates” of any out there. Forty-six percent of wireless customers say they’ve signed up with a carrier and then wanted to leave, and one in 10 has actually left within the first 30 days of making a switch. It’s a “pain point” ripe for a solution. During the first year of the program alone, T-Mobile expects at least one million people to take a test drive.
“The way this industry forces Americans to buy wireless is completely, utterly broken. I’m here to tell you there’s a better way,” declared Legere. “While the carriers ask you to buy blind, the Un-carrier gives you transparency. Our network kicks ass, and now people can experience for themselves what a data-strong network can do with T-Mobile Test Drive.”
How Does it Work?
Starting Monday, June 23, people can sign up for T-Mobile Test Drive at www.t-mobile.com/testdrive. A few days later, they’ll receive an iPhone 5s fully loaded and ready to go, and they can put T-Mobile’s data-strong network to the test for seven full days on the “most forward-thinking” smartphone. After the test drive, just drop it off at any T-Mobile store. That’s it. No money down. No obligation. No strings attached.
The company also announced two network expansions. T-Mobile has expanded Wideband LTE into 16 total markets, giving all T-Mobile LTE devices a speed boost with capable peak network download speeds up to nearly 150 Mbps – that comes out to a 90-minute HD movie download in under three minutes or an 11-song music album in seven seconds. It also expanded Voice over LTE (VoLTE) to more than 100 million people in 15 total and expects to deploy VoLTE nationwide by the end of the year.
“The old telecoms designed their networks for a time when your phone’s only app was a phone call— and they haven’t shaken that dial-tone mindset,” said Neville Ray, Chief Technology Officer for T-Mobile. “Our 4G LTE network was built in the last year and a half, so naturally we built it differently. We built it for the way people use smartphones and tablets today, and we built it with a mobile Internet architecture, so we could roll out new technologies faster.”
According to T-Mobile, its customers are using more wireless data on average than the major national carrier customers — 61% more than Sprint, 69% more than Verizon, and 100% more than AT&T. T-Mobile customers also have more network capacity per customer than with any other national wireless company, a full 70% more network spectrum per customer than Verizon, and they’re streaming, tweeting, using FaceTime and more at lightning speeds on America’s fastest nationwide 4G LTE network.
“We’re a mobile Internet company competing against utilities, so it’s no wonder we’re faster than they are,” added Legere. “We’re out there doing it while the other guys are still scheduling a meeting to talk about doing it. And there’s one more thing you can bank on. We won’t stop.”